Here at Dinero we consider integrations to external parties as essential functionality. But why is that, and how has accounting developed over the past decades?
Some of you might not have any insight into accounting, where it came from and what problems we’ve already solved, but I want to take a quick dive into it, to give you a little background on why “Connected accounting” is so brilliant.
The days of pen and paper
Let's take a trip back, way back before computers were a common thing. Accounting was basically a collection of ring binders full of spreadsheets and vouchers. You would write a number in the corner of every voucher you had, and enter its information into your ledger, made up of rows and columns, on a piece of paper.
Not only was this amazingly time consuming, it also meant that the accounting department had to get all the vouchers delivered to them, sort them and enter them into the ledger. This demanded a lot of time and resources. If something didn’t balance, you had to go through every single item, everything had to be added together manually and so on. Lots of opportunities for errors. Also note I said accounting department. Even in smaller businesses you needed an accounting department, which cost a lot of money.
Here comes the computer
If we move forward to the digital age, but before the cloud age, things start looking a little better. You could enter your ledger on a computer, but usually vouchers would still be kept in ring binders. This gives you quite a few nice benefits. First of all, trivial tasks could be automated through computing, the computer can do all the addition, multiplication and so on, reducing the risk of errors and saving time. But we still need to manually enter everything into the ledger in some way or another. In the late era of this solution, we could import bank statements from a CSV-file. But still, we needed to manually pick accounts, VAT codes, book depreciation, which doesn’t figure on our bank statements and lots more.
Basically you needed an expert hired to manage this, both from the accounting and software perspective. Accounting software in this age was typically big, heavy and expensive systems that could easily run into tens of thousands of kroner, just in setup. Complicated through and through. This is a practice still used in some places to this day, that haven't taken the next step, into the cloud.
Floating in the cloud
Today, people have some very different expectations when it comes to accounting software. Most business owners want to be able to handle daily accounting themselves and not rely on slow and expensive systems and accountants.
For this to happen, they need software that can assist them and the software has luckily moved forward at a record pace. In Dinero we’ve built accounting rules into our software. You can upload vouchers which can be scanned for numbers and information and help you book your voucher into the correct account. Out goes the old binders, which saves on space and most importantly, vouchers that were lost and misplaced has been eliminated as a concern.
But this is only the first step. The old process of manually entering every booking into the ledger also needs to be eliminated. We’ve solved part of this problem through our intuitive use of prefilled booking templates, but that only goes so far. We still have the manual process of booking salary, sales from webshops and everything else happening in external software. This is where connected accounting happens. Through API’s and integrations we’ve solved some major problems. All the manual processes can be eliminated or at the very least reduced drastically, saving on both time and money. When you build an integration and a system with the intention of integration you are saving the small and medium sized businesses thousands and further thousands of kroner in administration cost, and they get a more hands on feeling with their own business.
The future of accounting
The future is hard to predict, but it is obvious that we’re moving further and further towards automation. Automation in each system and automation in the integration between systems. AI and machine learning are in right now, in part for their ability to assist in this automation. Imagine a fully automated accounting system that handles webshops, payments, salary, dashboards, shipping, booking and so on. All in one flowing ecosystem of programs working together, where the users have almost no daily interaction.
We’re so excited to see where this journey takes us. And with you, as the partners on board, we’re ready! As long as we’re all dedicated to working towards this common goal, for our common customers, I’m sure we’re on the right track.
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